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25-Year-Old Dominican National Faces 10 Years In Prison On Illegal Gun Charge

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CHRISTIANSTED – A 25-year-old native of the Dominican Republic appeared in federal court on Monday to face illegal gun possession charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Rolando Torres De La Cruz appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after being charged in an indictment with being an alien in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

De La Cruz was arrested on April 22, 2016, by Special Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and officers with the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), Sharpe said.

Judge Miller ordered De La Cruz to be placed on home detention. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

According to court records, on February 11, 2015, De La Cruz, who is unlawfully present in the United States from the Dominican Republic, transferred a stolen .22 caliber Ruger Rifle to a second man who in turn sold the firearm.

This case was investigated by the DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the VIPD. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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